What are specific learning difficulties? -ld

What are specific learning difficulties?

The umbrella term specific learning difficulties (SpLD) is used to cover a wide variety of difficulties. Many people use it synonymously with dyslexia (a difficulty with words), but it is now generally accepted that dyslexia is only one of a group of difficulties that may include

  • dysgraphia: writing difficulty
  • dyspraxia: motor difficulties
  • dyscalculia: a difficulty performing mathematical calculations
  • Attention deficit disorder, or attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADD or ADHD): concentration difficulties with heightened activity levels and impulsiveness
  • Asperger’s syndrome and autism: emotional behaviour or even social communication difficulties.

These learning difficulties typically affect a student’s motor skills, information processing and memory. However, note that no two individuals have the same combination of SpLD and it is impossible to extrapolate a description from one person to another.

Note also that many students with SpLD, as well as many other students without SpLD, suffer from a visual-perceptual discomfort and disturbance which is sometimes known as Meares-Irlen syndrome. This affects their reading of print on white paper, on overheads and slides, and use of a computer.

It is also important to note that the difficulties described influence the strategies developed by an individual in order to cope with their studies, and that stress and anxiety also have an impact.

Only those who have experienced the challenges of having a specific learning difficulty truly understand the complications and difficulties that arise in a learning situation – and the excitement when someone presents information in a way that matches their thinking style or preferences.

Dyslexia

What are specific learning difficulties?

The umbrella term specific learning difficulties (SpLD) is used to cover a wide variety of difficulties. Many people use it synonymously with dyslexia (a difficulty with words), but it is now generally accepted that dyslexia is only one of a group of difficulties that may include

  • dysgraphia: writing difficulty
  • dyspraxia: motor difficulties
  • dyscalculia: a difficulty performing mathematical calculations
  • Attention deficit disorder, or attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADD or ADHD): concentration difficulties with heightened activity levels and impulsiveness
  • Asperger’s syndrome and autism: emotional behaviour or even social communication difficulties.

These learning difficulties typically affect a student’s motor skills, information processing and memory. However, note that no two individuals have the same combination of SpLD and it is impossible to extrapolate a description from one person to another.

Note also that many students with SpLD, as well as many other students without SpLD, suffer from a visual-perceptual discomfort and disturbance which is sometimes known as Meares-Irlen syndrome. This affects their reading of print on white paper, on overheads and slides, and use of a computer.

It is also important to note that the difficulties described influence the strategies developed by an individual in order to cope with their studies, and that stress and anxiety also have an impact.

Only those who have experienced the challenges of having a specific learning difficulty truly understand the complications and difficulties that arise in a learning situation – and the excitement when someone presents information in a way that matches their thinking style or preferences.

Dyslexia

Students who have dyslexia may have a difficulty with the use of both written and oral language. This is due in part to processing difficulties, including visual and auditory perceptual skills, and is not necessarily related to prior education. They may also find some learning tasks cause concern due to difficulties with short-term memory, concentration and organisation.

Dyslexia varies between individuals, and can occur in people of all abilities. Its effects on study can be mitigated by the use of a variety of approaches and strategies.

Dyslexic people often have distinctive talents as well as typical clusters of difficulties.

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